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Bristol sparks change to deal with e-waste

Pre-loved lamps, keyboards, blenders and slow cookers are just some of the items up for grabs in a new #ElectricAvenue pop-up store designed to help tackle electrical waste (e-waste) in Bristol. 

The store is open in the Galleries in Bristol until 5 December and will hand out recently donated electrical items which have been cleaned, repaired, safety checked and are now looking for a new home.

Customers can take an item home for free and are also being encouraged to donate a working electrical item they no longer want which will be re-homed. These can be taken to the store directly or dropped off at the Reuse Shop in Avonmouth. Anyone who donates an electrical item they no longer want or need is entered into a prize draw to win a £50 voucher for the Reuse Shop.

The #ElectricAvenue campaign is a pilot project being run by environmental charity Hubbub and Bristol Waste Company and funded by Ecosurety. It aims to show consumers that second-hand electricals still have value and highlight the environmental impact of e-waste – one of the world’s fastest growing and most toxic waste streams.

As well as extending the life of electrical items, the project is keen to highlight the value of materials they contain, such as metals which are finite resources and should be recovered in the recycling process and not put in general waste streams.

Gavin Ellis, Co-founder of Hubbub said: 

“Whilst it’s easy to be lured by Black Friday deals, our electrifying new pop-up shop aims to challenge the need to buy brand new and shines a spotlight on the value of electrical items that are often disposed of when they’re no longer needed. Many of us have unused electronics gathering dust in their home and we’re keen to show that these items can go on to have another life, bringing joy to another household without the environmental or financial cost.

“Electric Avenue will provide information about what to do with electrical waste and signpost local services which can ensure they are either reused, recycled or disposed of responsibly.”

Gwen Frost from Bristol Waste said: 

“It’s time to turn Black Friday, green. Choosing pre-loved items isn’t just good for your pocket, it’s good for the environment too, saving valuable resources from being chucked away.

“Not knowing how to fix a broken electrical item can stump many of us, but with a little help from a local organisation, you could bring it back to life for yourself, or for a new home. You can donate items at our Recycling Centres, take them to a repair café, or look up how to do a quick fix online. And if it really is beyond repair, leave it out in an untied bag with your recycling and we’ll make sure those precious materials get turned into something new.”

Councillor Nicola Beech, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Climate, Ecology, Waste and Energy at Bristol City Council, said: 

“Bristol is on a mission to reduce the amount of waste we produce as a city. Together, in the past year, we’ve prevented 175,000 tonnes of waste going into landfill, with more than 84,000 tonnes of waste being recycled or composted.

“Electric Avenue is a great way to reduce electrical waste and increase digital access for those who need it, including families and schools. The exciting pop-up shop will find new homes for Bristol’s electrical waste and get us all thinking about how we can reuse more and waste less. Please, have a search at home to uncover forgotten electricals that can be put to work again and help Bristol waste nothing.”

The pop-up store is open at: The Galleries, 25 Union Gallery, Broadmead, Bristol, BS1 3XD. Opening hours are: 10am – 6pm Monday – Saturday; 10am – 5pm Sunday. Any electrical item that is in working condition will be accepted as long as it has a plug and can be lifted by one person. 

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